Thousands of newborns are injured every year while they are being delivered, and while some of these injuries cannot really be avoided, many of them are the direct result of mistakes made by the medical professionals who are overseeing these births. Most expecting parents never really think about the possibility of dealing with this terrible experience, as pregnancy is generally a time that’s filled with hope and optimism. Therefore, when something does go wrong, those parents are often left wondering what they need to do next, as there is generally no plan in place for this circumstance.
Unfortunately, birth injuries are common enough that there are relatively accurate estimates out there that indicate which types of birth injuries occur most often in the United States. As many would expect, these injuries can be quite severe as newborns are clearly extremely vulnerable to harm during the first few moments of their lives outside the womb. Below are examples of five common birth injuries that are often the result of medical negligence.
- Cerebral Palsy
Not every person who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy got it because of a mistake made during the delivery, but this is a common result of problems that arise that lead to even a temporary loss of oxygen while in the birth canal.
The autism rate in the United States has exploded in recent years, and while there is no one definitive cause of this condition, problems relating to oxygen supply for newborns can also ultimately result in this diagnosis.
- Erb’s Palsy
When a child is pulled from the birth canal with too much force, it can damage a bundle of nerves at the bottom of the neck known as the brachial plexus. One of the results of this condition is Erb’s palsy, and it can lead to paralysis of one of the arms.
- Klumpke’s Palsy
Injuries to different parts of the brachial plexus can lead to different consequences for a newborn. When the damage is inflicted at the eighth cervical root or the first thoracic nerve root, the result is Klumpke’s palsy. People with Klumpke’s palsy will suffer from paralysis of one of the arms and hands.
- Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia occurs when the child’s head emerges from the birth canal but he or she gets stuck there because of the shoulders. When medical professionals manipulate the child, it can also damage the brachial plexus leading to movement problems and in some cases paralysis.
One of the most difficult parts of the job for people who deliver babies is to recognize warning signs and to react to them appropriately. However, this is what they are expected to do and if they don’t they should be held accountable for the harm that results from this mistake. If your child has suffered because of a mistake made during birth, contact the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.